God came to earth as a vulnerable, meek, loving, little man, a man who somehow was able to lure Satan out from his Old Testament world stronghold, deception, disguise and cover. He caused Satan to come out into the open in the New Testament culminating in a final attack against Jesus at Calvary. This assault against Jesus by all the powers of darkness mysteriously resulted in their own destruction. Col 2:14-15. This is the paschal mystery; the hidden, but now revealed, secret of the cross. 1 Cor 2:6-8.
DRUM ROLL: Here is “the revelation of the mystery” (Rom 16:25): The real KILLER of the Old Testament and today is Satan. The real Savior, since before time began, is Jesus, the One who was KILLED! And God is the Master Military Strategist! He always baits the enemy into destroying himself. The Great Murder Mystery of the Old Testament is solved! Like most great murder mysteries, there is an ironic twist at the end. God is not a killer after all. Satan is!
This scenario is portrayed throughout the Bible. In this piece, I will examine passages that show the principle of evil being LURED OUT into the open, EXPOSED and then DESTROYED by its own devices. Ps 5:10; 7:15-16; 9:15-16; 10:2. It is related to the fishhook theory piece I wrote on some time ago.
In Exodus 14 and 15, Pharoah, His chariots, and army, a foreshadowing of Satan, his principalities and powers, are drawn out of their stronghold, Egypt, a type of the world, into the open against the vulnerable, helpless, weaponless Israelites who Pharoah has hemmed in against the Red Sea thinking they are there sitting ducks. God then allows an evil “east wind” (compare Ex 14:21 to Hos 12:1) to blow back the sea waters thereby dividing and opening an expanse in the midst. God then steps back in to restrain the evil waters long enough for the Israelites to CROSS to safety then releases the evil waters to flood and destroy Pharoah’s army. This Red Sea incident is a prefigurement of our baptism into the death of Christ which frees the believer from the tyrannies of Sin, the Law and Satan’s power. Rom 6 and 7. The CROSS delivers the believer but destroys the unbeliever.
And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharoah and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him. Ex 14:5-6.
And with the blast of thy nostrils (nostrils of the fiery dragon, Satan) the waters were gathered together, the floods stood up as a heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy (Pharoah, a type of Satan) said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will “divide the spoil” (a term Isaiah uses in his prophecy of the cross; Is 53:12), my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. Ex 15:8-10. (The above parentheticals are mine).
Evil is here destroyed by a combination of its own devices. The lust of evil to enslave and dominate, the evil east wind, the evil killing flood and evil’s own pursuit and assault. God’s only part is to allow, restrain then release evil to destroy. The Israelites are delivered by a “war” (Ex 15:3) in which neither they nor their God ever lift a finger in violence. Evil is lured out of its stronghold against a vulnerable opponent and thereby self-destructs.
A second scenario is found in Joshua 8. Joshua and his army here defeat the King of Ai and his men by stationing two units near the city during the night. One unit approaches the city, allows themselves to be seen by people of Ai, then begin to flee from Ai, feigning weakness and fear. The enemy In Ai is drawn out of the city by this in pursuit of Joshua’s fleeing band. As soon as they are all gone out of the city, Joshua’s other unit, hidden behind the city, advance into the city stronghold, set it on fire and then pursue the men of Ai from behind. Ai is caught is in a vice in the valley between the two units of Joshua. Ai is crushed. The King of Ai is taken alive and verse 29 below provides the main clue that this entire scene in Joshua 8 is a foreshadowing of Satan’s defeat at the cross. Although Jesus was hung there, Satan, (represented here by the King of Ai) was really the one hung in the death of Christ. Col 2:14-15; Heb 2:14; 1 Cor 2:6-8. Ai had been drawn out, exposed and ambushed by a seemingly weak and vulnerable opponent.
V29 reads: And the King of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remained unto this day.
When Jesus appeared on earth, He drew Satan out of hiding into the open and crushed him on the tree of the cross. Gal 3:10-13.
As Paul warms himself next to a fire of gathered sticks in Acts 28:1-6, a viper leaps out of the fire, fastens itself onto Paul and “hangs” there from his hand. Paul then “shook off” the viper back into the fire, destroyed it and felt no harm. Paul here is a type of Jesus at Calvary. Satan and his evil powers, drawn out of hiding in disguise in the Old Testament, fastened themselves onto Christ at the cross. Thru the cross, Jesus was able to take on Satan and “shook” or “strip off” the devil. The word “spoiled” in Col 2:15 KJV Can also be translated “stripped off.” He stripped the dark powers off and put them away from Himself at Calvary. This stripping or spoiling of them is referred to by Paul as the “circumcision of Christ.” Col 2:11. Interestingly, the term “shook off” is also used in the Red Sea incident. In Exodus 14:27, the word “overthrew” in the phrase “overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of sea” is also translated “shook off” in the margin of the Cambridge edition KJV. Jesus’ presence on earth drew out and took on Satan at the cross and then, thru the resurrection, shook him off back into the fire of his own destruction.
Satan is only mentioned about 5 times in the Old Testament. But when drawn out of his cover by Jesus, he is spoken of numerous times in the New. We will now look at other New Testament passages which prove my point.
In the book of John, “the Jews” representing their “father, the devil” (John 8:44) are constantly drawn out into the open in confrontations with Jesus. One highlight is found in John 8 where they drag the woman caught in adultery to Jesus testing and taunting Him to cause her to be condemned, stoned and killed. Jesus does not, so then at the end of the chapter, the Jews are trying to kill Him instead of the woman. They finally do succeed in killing Him but in the end they are the real losers. Their religion, their temple and their law was destroyed through the very death of Him that they instigated. The zeal of their house, in eating Him up, swallowed up themselves.
In Matt 8:28-34, two devils are drawn out into the open to meet Jesus, coming out of their cover in “the tombs.” They can’t resist a confrontation with Him, asking if He has come to torment them. They recognize Him as the Son of God then beg Him that He will suffer them to go into a herd of swine. He then politely answers their prayer and sends them away off into a herd of swine which promptly run violently down a steep slope perishing in the waters of the sea, a destruction the devils caused to themselves by their own actions. Jesus did nothing here but show up and grant their request like the true gentleman that He always is. Notice hostility is totally on the side of these devils. Jesus conquers them by granting their own request and giving them the freedom to destroy themselves. This is always how God and His Son handle evil confrontations. He “resists not evil” directly (Matt 5:39) but allows it to run its course and indirectly self-destruct. He always overcomes evil with good. Rom 12:17-21 @v21. It is never an eye for eye or performance-based attack on evil by Jesus. God, as manifested in Jesus, is always unconditional love. There is no division in Him. He is single and pure, never dualistic. He will, however, allow you to judge and destroy yourself. He is never coercive or threatening. He is just loving, peaceful and kind, both to the wicked and the good. Matt 5:38-48; Luke 6:35. He gives everyone the freedom to receive Him or reject and walk away.
So what does all this mean to us. We, like Jesus, are called to walk out into the world, drawing Satan out, presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, being vulnerable as He was, as lambs in the midst of wolves (Luke 10:1-4), turning the other cheek, absorbing the blows and allowing evil to come out of hiding and self-destruct. When you love an enemy in a way unexpected by him, you may destroy the evil in him right there on the spot.
It is “the peace of God” only that will ever really crush evil. Rom 16:20. Love is the only force in the universe that will ultimately overcome evil. Love is the only thing “as strong as death.” Song of Sol 8:8.
Our faith is in Jesus. We believe that the paschal mystery will play itself out. Evil will run its course and self-destruct in the face of our love. Satan will continually be lured out into the open and be allowed, thru the principle of the cross, to self-destruct. Heb 2:14. Our part is to die to self and allow the agape self-sacrificial love of our Savior to flow thru us into the world.
GOD IS TRULY THE MASTER MILITARY STRATEGIST FOR THE CONQUERING OF EVIL.
In the Old Testament, the killing murdering god (1 Sam 15:1-10) is really Satan disguising himself as the true God until the devil is later smoked out by the cross. Many Christians are still blinded to this. 2 Cor 4:3-4. The murder mystery has been solved. The veil is rent and taken away in Christ.
Jesus came to show us what “the only true God” is really like. John 17:3. God allowed Satan to deceive the whole world and has even taken the blame for what Satan did in the violent portraits of God in Old Testament scripture. For the evils Satan did to Job, God took the blame. Job was never told Satan was the true perpetrator. God took Satan’s blame in the Old Testament. Satan is the only real perpetrator of death. Death is the last enemy of God that will be destroyed. 1 Cor 15:26.
KILLING IS A SIN AND GOD DOES NOT DO IT. GOD IS THE DIER, NEVER THE KILLER. HE IS THE MASTER STRATEGIST!